Every week, I shine the spotlight on some of the best storytelling in the business and offer my comments. “3 Great Stories of the Week” will post every Monday at 8 AM.
The death row basketball league (3/16/17, The Marshall Project): This week, in this segment, each piece comes from the same source.
I have gradually become a big fan of The Marshall Project, which bills itself as “a nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization that seeks to create and sustain a sense of national urgency about the U.S. criminal justice system.” Its editors and writers consistently contribute insightful, revelatory journalism, often partnering with other news agencies. That’s what they do here, presenting a first-hand account of life at a death row prison through a collaboration with Vice.
Writer Lyle May is incarcerated at Central Prison in Raleigh, N.C. He discusses the prison’s basketball league, weaving details of games with reminders of life on death row. The reader does not learn what crimes May committed … until the very end, when this humanizing portrait receives a hammering reminder of what leads to such a sentence.